On March 1, the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners, driven by recently elected District 4 Representative Michael Owen, requested staff to initiate the process to create the Valrico Community Plan. As of 2022, Valrico was home to about 50,000 people, 18,000 residences and 2,000 jobs.

A community plan is intended to be an extension and refinement of the county’s Comprehensive Plan. The Comprehensive Plan is general in nature and provides guidance on issues countywide from a very high level, sometimes referred to as a view from 30,000 feet, with a community plan more detailed in nature and intended to provide specific recommendations on issues raised by its residents at a local level.

The plan will be developed in a process that involves the community at each of three phases and discusses the special and unique characteristics of Valrico. Your participation and feedback is extremely important, as it will help the plan examine the issues and opportunities facing the area, provide localized strategies and portray a shared vision for the future.

The three phases to be covered include first identifying existing conditions happening now through summer 2023 in conjunction with phase two’s public outreach continuing from now through winter 2023. The final phase will be drafting the plan and policy recommendations planned from fall 2023 through spring 2024.

The Planning Commission has developed a short survey about the Valrico area to help create the starting point for the plan and the strategies it will eventually recommend. The goal will be to create a community-wide vision for Valrico along with establishing goals and developing strategies that will both align with and further these goals, as well as creating a Community Concept Map.

This survey is found on the Plan Hillsborough webpage (https://planhillsborough.org/planvalrico) and is accessed by clicking the “Take the survey” button. Your input is important. County planners invite you to read and provide feedback on the creation of the Valrico Community Plan.

The result of this study will be the creation of the Valrico Community Plan. The plan will be presented to the board of county commissioners for consideration and potentially result in amendments to the Hillsborough County Comprehensive Plan and/or Land Development Code. Any final policy changes are at the discretion of the board of county commissioners. The county does not seek to purchase private property, nor is this a study for the use of eminent domain.

The Planning Commission asks that you stay current on this project by signing up for email updates at https://planhillsborough.org/planvalrico. You can also volunteer to be a plan ambassador to help lead the conversation in your community.

The initial public meeting is set for Saturday, July 22 from 9 a.m.-12 Noon at the Mulrennan Middle School cafeteria, located at 4215 Durant Rd. in Valrico, with a follow-up set for Monday, July 24 from 5-7 p.m. at the same location. On Friday, July 28 from 12 Noon-1 p.m., a virtual meeting will be available to attend by registering at bit.ly/planvalrico. Please submit any questions to Alvaro Gabaldon from the Planning Commission at gabaldona@plancom.org for additional details.

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Brian Bokor
Brian Bokor has lived in the Valrico area since 1997 and started writing freelance for The Osprey Observer in 2019. Brian (appraiser) and his wife, Sharon (broker), run a local real estate company (Bokors Corner Realty) as well as manage the Facebook page Bokors Corner, which highlights local-area commercial and residential development.